Lifestyle & Belief

Aimee Copeland, flesh-eating bacteria victim, receives 2 bionic hands (VIDEO)


Aimee Copeland (left) has had her left leg, other foot and both hands amputated in her battle against a flesh-eating bacteria she developed after a fall from a west Georgia zip line May 1.


Aimee Copeland, the University of West Georgia graduate student who had her left leg, right foot and both hands amputated after contracting flesh-eating bacteria last year, has received two state-of-the-art bionic hands.

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Designed and manufactured by Touch Bionics, the two $100,000 hands are connected to partial forearms that contain electrodes that pick up electrical signals from Copeland’s residual limbs, NBC reported.

She’s the first woman in the world with bilateral upper limb amputations to wear iLimb ultra revolution prosthetic hands, CNN reported.

Copeland, now 25, and a spokesperson for Touch Bionics, showed reporters the progress she is making with the technology this week.

Already she can sign her name, chop vegetables, shake hands, fold a towel, hang clothes and flat iron her hair."It just mimics so well a natural hand that it really just reminds me of before the accident, how I would have done things," she told CNN. "I never thought I would actually be able to hold a knife and cut something. That's just incredible."

In time, she will be able to use her prosthetic hands to do "pretty much whatever she wants to," her prosthetist, Robert Kistenberg, co-director and prosthetics coordinator at Georgia Institute of Technology, told NBC's Today Show.

Copeland is finishing her master's degree in psychology and plans to go into social work.

"Sometimes, honestly, I look at pictures of how I was before, and I feel almost disconnected from that person because my perspective now is so different than the point of view of that girl," Copeland told NBC’s Today Show. "And so, in a way, it almost feels like I died a year ago and I was reborn as someone different."